Q&A with Patrick Chapin, President and CEO of BHP – Chamber of Commerce
Patrick Chapin, President and CEO of Business High Point – Chamber of Commerce, has been leading the Congdon Yards charge from the beginning. Long before there was a Congdon Yards, Patrick was galvanizing community leaders and harnessing support for the HP365 initiative, a visionary plan to help in the revitalization of downtown High Point. Here, we talk to Patrick about how that ambitious vision evolved into Congdon Yards.
What was your original vision with HP365?
Business High Point – Chamber of Commerce (BHP) launched the HP365 initiative to create a space for year-round entrepreneurial activity downtown. At that point, we hadn’t defined what form that activity would take, but we had the support of a few passionate advocates who understood how critical it was to the future of High Point. When the North Carolina Department of Commerce offered a $1.5M matching grant, the funds were matched in record time thanks to Mr. Bill Millis, International Market Centers, High Point University and Blue Ridge Companies.
What was the impact of that initial investment?
It allowed us to start solidifying some of our plans. But the real turning point was when David Congdon, who had become chairman of the board of BHP, and the Earl and Kathryn Congdon Family Foundation stepped up with their unbelievably generous philanthropic gift—more than $40 million to date. That investment allowed us to secure Plant 7 and The Factory and begin planning for an events center. That’s when this vision found a real home, and a concrete reality.
In addition to the space, what else did the project need to keep moving forward?
To create something at the magnitude of Congdon Yards demands the support of so many people and resources. With a great board of directors and staff, BHP is uniquely positioned to bring assets from throughout our community to the table. So from day one, our priority has been to work with partners and friends at the local and state level, incredible leaders like High Point University President, Dr. Nido Qubein, and of course, David Congdon and the Congdon family. Without any one of these partners, we don’t have a Congdon Yards.
Will Business High Point – Chamber of Commerce be involved in the day-to-day operations at Congdon Yards?
The entire project falls under BHP and the High Point Chamber of Commerce Foundation so we’re not just the vision people, we’re here on the ground. We assembled a “dream team” and worked very closely with the architecture, design and creative teams who built Congdon Yards. We’re working hand-in-hand with the real estate group that is bringing new tenants into the space. We will develop many of the business and community programs that you’ll see happening throughout the campus. We also hope to relocate our offices here in the future.
During the process of bringing Congdon Yards to life, what are some of your favorite moments?
Having the pleasure of being part of a team of such talented people who share the same passion for this project and our community at large has been incredibly rewarding. Working under the leadership of David Congdon will always be one of my personal and professional highlights. I am very proud that we kept construction moving and were able to keep almost a thousand people employed throughout the pandemic in 2020. But the thing that I am most excited about is knowing that Congdon Yards won’t stand on its own. With Truist Point Stadium, the Nido & Mariana Qubein Children’s Museum, the Stock and Grain food hall and so much more on the way, Congdon Yards will be the cornerstone of the vibrant, dynamic, open 365-days-a-year downtown High Point we all envisioned…and more!